More a parasite than a monkey…
Today and tomorrow, I am at the EDEN conference in beautiful of Napoli, Italy.
Teemu and I share quite a few characteristics: we’re both a bit … entrepeneurial, I guess. He started his company when he was sixteen. I was 25 years older when I did, but I started two companies last year 😉 His slide 7 mentions a problem that I am also very much concerned about (see my earlier comments). Some of the further projections that Teemy made (“homo contextus”), I am a bit less certain about.
Anyway, Teemu mentioned “slow pedagogy” in his talk and that he had learned about that through a recent podcast by an Indian woman whose name he couldn’t remember. Of course, though slow pedagogy may have its merits, this was a challenge that needed a speedy response and I quickly googled “slow pedagogy podcast india”. As Teemu had mention “parasitic learning” (slide 29), I inserted two slides on slow pedagogy in my presentation (see below), and could connect nicely (I think) when I went on stage after him.
I tried to make my story as simple as possible: we need to replace the “bad problem” of search in scarce educational resources by the “good problem” of personalized suggestions from an abundance of such resources. A practical illustration of how this could look in an environment like Blackboard (slides 34-44 below) hopefully brought this closer to home. I’ll repeat here once more my appeal at the end to join us (through ARIADNE or GLOBE): more news on how this is evolving to come soon..!
BTW, my talk got blogged at edublogs.be and there are some comments there too – in Dutch! (Thanks!) You can find more on the conference there as well.
The session ended with Michael Graham Moore (no, not family of the other Michael Moore 😉 ) who started with some references to The cult of the amateur, by Andrew Keen. After the parasitic learners of Teemu, Michael talked about the 10(0?) million monkeys that now all have a blog and are typing away their irrelevant nonsense on it. I was quite struck by the parallel he saw between wikipedia and Orwell’s 1984 nightmare where 2 and 2 equals 5 if the people say so.
It was good to find a dissenting voice, but I find it difficult to take this kind of remarks really serious. Remember the comparative study between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Brittanica? Isn’t blogosphere promoting open discussion rather than Orwellian control? If someone wants to post irrelevant ideas on his blog, what problem does that create for you? In fact, what is irrelevant to you may be very relevant to others?